Sinas pardon for ‘mañanita’ based on his ‘overall performance’ at PNP — Guevarra
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was considering the “overall performance” of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Debold when he expressed intention to pardon the country’s top cop if he is found at fault in the “mañanita” case filed against him.
This was according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who also pointed out that executive clemency can only be granted should an individual be found guilty of a case following a proper proceeding.
“The President is very much aware that a case is still pending and he is merely indicating his intent to act with liberality, in consideration of General Sinas’ overall performance as a career police officer,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters when sought for comment on the chief executive’s recent remarks about Sinas.
In a speech Saturday, Duterte said he would pardon Sinas if the latter is found guilty of the charge filed against him for violating quarantine rules meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the celebration of his 55th birthday last May.
Despite what the President said, Guevarra assured that the Department of Justice (DOJ) “will do what it is duty-bound to do.”
“The DOJ/prosecutor has to complete the process of the preliminary investigation. [E]xecutive clemency may come only after a finding of guilt. [I]f there’s no finding of guilt, there’s no room for the application of executive clemency,” the justice chief explained.
“‘[I]f he has fault’ indicates that the President will wait for a finding of fault or guilt after a proper proceeding, whether administrative or criminal,” Guevarra added.
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives had warned of more human rights violations, recalling arrests and extrajudicial killings during Sinas’ stint as police director for Central Visayas from 2018 to 2019.
Central Visayas saw a rise in unsolved killings of people linked to the illegal drug trade on Sinas’ watch, according to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in the region.
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